A nonprofit’s life cycle is much like a human’s. You start off small, with a limited budget and influence. Most of your staff is probably inexperienced, or you may only have volunteers. But over time, your nonprofit grows. You develop a bigger budget, bigger output, and professional staff.
As a leader, you need to make sure you’re growing with your nonprofit. I’ve seen executive directors who operate as if their mission were still in its infancy, when in reality, it’s grown into a teenager. You need to grow with your organization. If you don’t, your nonprofit may grow past you.
As a leader, your style and capabilities need to evolve, so you can continue to be an effective and efficient leader. Here are some easy ways to grow your leadership style:
- Continue Your Education: Explore online classes or podcasts that can teach you about governance, what’s new in nonprofits, and other topics to keep you current. Go a step further and enroll in a nonprofit master’s degree program. There are many reputable programs that do a solid job of developing nonprofit leaders.
- Read More: Reading is easier than ever. You have hard copy books, electronic versions on your phone or tablet, and even audio books to listen to on the go. There’s a wealth of knowledge out there that you can tap into. Leaders are readers.
- Find a Mentor: Find a leader of a more established nonprofit and learn from their wisdom. Odds are they’ve been through everything you have and more. Their experience will be invaluable to you.
- Pursue Coaching: There are organizations out there (including DBA) that specifically offer leadership coaching to help you improve your leadership impact. Just like a fitness trainer, a leadership coach will build on your strengths while mitigating your weaknesses.
- Get Honest Feedback: One of the best ways to find out how to be a better leader is to ask the people you’re leading. It takes courage to ask for honest feedback (and to provide it!), but your staff and volunteers have valuable thoughts and insights.
Grow with your organization so it doesn’t grow past you. Dickerson, Bakker & Associates offer many services such as leadership coaching which will improve your leadership impact. Contact us today!